Staff and Board

Staff and Board Bios

Our Board

Mohamed (Mourssi) Alfash, Ph.D., MBA, MPA

Dr. Mohamed Mourssi-Alfash, is a 6th year member of the Board of Directors of Access Press. Mohamed grew up in suburban Alexandria, Egypt and moved to the U.S. in 1996. He has a 3-decade career in both private and public sectors that includes working for the University of Minnesota as a research accounting principal, and serving as an economics & labor market research analyst, coordinator of the state’s Job Vacancy Survey, disability employment expert at Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and Equity coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Human services.

He has a bachelor’s degree in business/accounting from Alazhar University in Cairo, a master’s degree in cost accounting from the University of Alexandria, Egypt, an MBA from Globe University, a master of public affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in organizational development. Mohamed also volunteers as a social justice and disability advocate and is a member of several state committees that include the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) and the Minnesota Statewide Independent Living Council (MNSILC), the Metro Regional Quality Council (MRQC), several committees with Ramsey County, and the board of directors for nonprofit organizations providing services to people with disabilities. He is also the author of many research articles focusing on disability affairs, employment of people with disability, the intersection of disability, race, and poverty, as well as other related topics aiming to the improvement of lives of people with disabilities in the state and the nation. 

“I am dedicated to serving the public, social justice, and advocating for people with disabilities in general, especially those who are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing. I primarily focus on integrating individuals with disabilities in their communities and will share my expertise in policy analysis and employment strategies with the board and staff. I also possess excellent knowledge and experience in applying federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding accessibility and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.”

John Clark, LICSW, MSSW

John Clark has worked as a clinical social worker for more than 30 years, both with people with physical and developmental disabilities and the general population.  His professional experience includes residential and agency settings as well as private practice.  Clark’s passion is “Just Therapy” and the role of storytelling in psychotherapy.  His life experience with cerebral palsy helps inform his practice and the values by which he tries to live his life. Clark earned a Masters of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  His BS in psychology is from Southwest State University, Marshall, Minnesota with minors in history and political science.

He served on the Mayors’ (Minneapolis) Advisory board for Disability, the TAAC transportation advisory board for the Metropolitan Council and is a graduate of the Program in Policymaking at the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disability. Clark enjoys keeping in touch with friends, listening to music from a variety of genres, and reads extensively in areas of history and public policy. Clark grew up in Cumberland, Wisconsin.  He lives in Inver Grove Heights with his wife of 27 years, Marilyn.

Mark Daly

Mark believes that storytelling is everything. His passion is inspiring others to lead their happiest, healthiest lives by shining a light on the those who have overcome challenges and who now enjoy the many benefits of an active lifestyle.

Prior to his career as a PR professional at Anytime Fitness and Life Time Inc., he worked as an investigative reporter for KARE-TV, the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis, for nearly 20 years. Mark’s journalistic honors include the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, multiple IRE Awards from the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, numerous regional Emmy Awards, and a New York Film Festival Award.

Brendan Downes

Brendon’s parents learned he would be born with Spina Bifida several months before he arrived. They were sometimes overwhelmed with all they needed to learn. Finding helpful, consistent guidance in this process from both professionals and peers helped them immensely. Becoming a source of guidance has now become one of Brendan’s biggest passions, which aligns perfectly with the mission of Access Press. He is thrilled to have the ability to contribute to the advancement of acceptance and possibilities of people with disabilities.

Growing up in Minnesota Brendan has undergone numerous surgeries over the years, but he also has experienced a very rich life.  He began playing wheelchair basketball at age 12, through Courage Center in Golden Valley, and traveled all over the U.S. competing.  He also earned the chance to play for the U.S. Under-19 Juniors team in Australia twice.  He was awarded a full athletic scholarship to play for the University of Arizona, where he earned his BA degree, and then was recruited for his final year of eligibility to the University of Missouri, where he completed a master’s degree and met his wife, Molly.

Being born with a disability led to many other opportunities, such as handcycling in the Houston Marathon and the UNESCO marathon in Venice, Italy.  Brendan was scuba-certified and traveled to the Cayman Islands to enjoy this.  He love sports of all kinds and still competes in several, including wheelchair basketball, football and softball.  I am proud to be part of the U.S. Wheelchair Softball team and we have traveled to Japan several times to compete.

He currently resides in Lakeville with Molly and two amazing daughters.

Erica Fair

Bio coming soon

Shannah Mulvihill, MA, CFRE

Shannah Mulvihill has worked in the non-profit and public sectors for 20+ years in the areas of communications, development, public policy and organizational leadership. She has served as the executive director of Mental Health Minnesota since 2015, and also serves as one of four Regional Policy Council Representatives for Mental Health America. Shannah holds a Masters Degree in counseling psychology from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, and has served as a volunteer counselor for the Walk-In Counseling Clinic and Crisis Connection. She is a current board member and treasurer of Access Press, a non-profit newspaper focused on issues related to disabilities, and a current board member of Wright County Community Action, where she is also treasurer. She is a former board chair of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless and former disaster services volunteer and advisory committee member of the Twin Cities American Red Cross. Shannah is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She and her family live in Howard Lake, Minnesota.

Walt Seibert

Walt Seibert grew up on a dairy/hog/row crop farm in central Iowa and learned the value of hard and smart work coupled with consistency early in life.  He was drafted in 1965 and served two years in the Army. To decompress from military service, he cowboyed on the Lazy CJ ranch near Saratoga, WY for 5 years.  He furthered his workingperson’s experience by joining Union Pacific’s rail replacement crew. The crew was responsible for removing short track and replacing it with quarter mile track / Utah, Death Valley, northern California, and Oregon. 

Walt received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming and Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He also holds the Fellow, Charitable Estate Planning designation (FCEP).

His professional work history includes Northwestern Mutual Life/Special Agent Division, founding executive director, Metropolitan Center for Independent Living, Director of Planned Giving, Courage Center (now Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Foundation).  He also was a major/planned giving consultant with a wide range of clients. To name a few, some of his clients were Audubon Center of the Northwoods (now Osprey Wilds), Mano a Mano (Walt served the organization both in the United States & Bolivia), Land Stewardship Project, and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.

Walt and his partner, Rose, have been together 25 years. They have four grandchildren, and enjoy watching them participate in ice hockey, soccer and gymnastics. Walt enjoys walking, keeping up with friends, genealogy and reading history, biographies, and novels. He has done continuous reading and thinking about the concept of nothingness, how the Big Bang occurred. The James Webb Telescope currently holds Walt’s attention.

Walt and Rose live for the annual get together with their kids and families at a lodge north of Lutsen. They know from experience life does not get any better than that!

Joel Ulland

Joel Ulland is the Associate Vice President of Public Affairs at UCare where he leads UCare’s state and federal lobbying efforts.  Prior to joining UCare in 2008, Joel worked for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter for 13 years.  In that capacity, he worked on a wide range of topics for people with MS and other disabilities including health care, long-term care, transportation and employment. Joel played an instrumental role in passing new laws to expand prescription drug coverage to people with disabilities, relocate people with disabilities under age 65 out of nursing homes and expand Metro Mobility services. He was a co-chair for the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities for six years. 

Since joining UCare in 2008, Joel has continued to focus on health care issues at the state capitol and in Washington DC. He is responsible for researching and analyzing policy proposals to assess their impact on UCare and its members along with recommending strategies and solutions. Joel ensures that UCare staff is updated on new legislative and regulatory changes after each legislative session. He also serves as a board member for the Minnesota Council of Health Plans and the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association.

Kay Willshire

Kay is a Minnesota native, raised in rural Redwood County, graduating from Redwood Falls High School and attending the University of Minnesota, Morris. Academic life was great, but two years on that flat prairie was enough and she transferred to the U of MN, Minneapolis. She finished up at Saint Catherine University with a B.S. in communications.

Her first job was selling classified ads at the Star Tribune; then she became a news assistant in the Tribune newsroom and editorial page. After one of the editorial writers left to become Communications Director at Northern States Power Company, she decided to try corporate communications herself. Never a dull moment at NSP where she was part of an in-house agency supporting every department from employee communications, to consumer safety, coal and nuclear plant operations, finance, executive communications and gas/electric marketing where she wrote, edited and managed print publications for more than half of her 30+ years at NSP, now Xcel Energy.

Meanwhile, one of her younger sisters was diagnosed with MS when she was 18 and a senior in high school. She went to UW-Stout on a path toward the competitive world of retail merchandizing. However, her MS changed all that and she became a marketing manager at Courage Center, now Courage Kenny Rehabilitation. When she became an active volunteer/fundraiser at the Minnesota MS Society, Kay joined their board of directors for 15 years. When an opening came up on the Access Press board of directors, Kay joined Tim Benjamin and his “newsroom” supporting journalism and the disability community.

Kay lives in St. Paul with her retired newspaper graphic designer husband in a 120-year-old house full of art pottery, mid-century collectibles and inherited antiques. Her farm girl background makes her the perfect partner for garden projects – always ready to weed and dig in the dirt. She relaxes playing piano and reed organ, coloring mandalas, searching genealogy records, walking two Yorkies, reading novels for book club and assisting her sister, one of four, with her projects.

Staff Leadership

Holly Anderson, Executive Director

Holly Anderson brings more than two decades of nonprofit leadership experience to Access Press and 16 years working with people in the disability community in MN, IA, ND and SD. She started her career in Washington, DC working on marketing and public awareness campaigns for the National Consumers League. In 2002, Holly moved to Minnesota and became VP of Marketing for the National MS Society, Minnesota Chapter. In 2009 she was named President of that chapter and spearheaded a merger in her first six months.

In her work, Holly engaged volunteers, community members, corporations, and donors to raise nearly $9 million each year. Advocating for people with disabilities is a passion of Holly’s and she loves being on the Access Press team. Holly herself lives with disabilities, and she has very close family members with disabilities. Holly enjoys learning and has recently completed Cornell Certificate programs in Diversity and Inclusion and Social Media Strategy. In her free time, Holly enjoys exploring the natural landscapes all over Minnesota as well as actively volunteering with Show Up for Racial Justice, Residents Organizing Against Racism and The Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue. Holly lives in Lakeville, MN with her husband Matt, 15-year-old daughter Adeyla, 2 kittens, 1 large dog and 1 giant one. 

Jane McClure, Editor

Jane McClure is the longtime editor at Access Press, although her involvement with the paper goes back to the 1990s when founding Editor Charlie Smith was transitioning the paper from for-profit to nonprofit status. Jane was on the board of the Twin Cities Neighborhood and Community Press Association, which worked with Access Press staff and its first board on the transition. 

Jane has worked for newspapers since age 12, and in 2021 received a 50-year award from the Minnesota Newspaper Association. She has worked for daily and weekly newspapers in Iowa and Minnesota during her career. She has won several Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA) and Neighborhood and Community Press Association writing, editing and photography awards, including a General Excellence Award when she was interim editor of the Washington County Bulletin. Before starting at Access Press, she edited newspapers in St. Paul’s North End and Frogtown neighborhoods.  Jane has served on the Minnesota Joint Media Law Committee and is a longtime volunteer at the Minnesota State Fair Newspaper Museum. She is active at Hamline Church United Methodist in St. Paul and lives in Macalester-Groveland neighborhood there. She and her partner Patrick are Saints baseball fans. Jane lives with multiple disabilities and brings that shared experience to her work as the newspaper editor.